2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Raptors

The Knicks head to…TAMPA to play the Toronto Raptors tonight, as Canada still won’t let sports teams play in the country, so the Raptors are playing their home games in Tampa. Amusingly, Kevin Knox is from Tampa, so he gets to play at his hometown. Larry Brown would start him over Barrett.

Burks and Quickley are out tonight and while Smith is with the team, he’s unlikely to play. Austin Rivers, though, will be playing without getting any scrimmages in, so that’ll be interesting.

The Raptors are 0-3 and are struggling with the loss of both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, replacing them with Aron Baynes and gum and spit. Fred VanVleet has been terrible, as well.

If the Knicks win, they’ll be over .500 for the latest in a season since they were over .500 after Game 33 of the 2017-18 season. That’s insane. Not only that, but due to the vagaries of the NBA schedule this year, this means that the Knicks would enter 2021 with a winning record if they won tonight, something that hasn’t happened with this team since Jason Kidd was still on the team! Game 33 of the 2017-18 season was in December.

If you’re going to play the Raptors, getting them while they are 0-3 is a good time to get them!

Let’s go over .500, Knicks!

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367 thoughts to “2020-21 Game Thread: Knicks @ Raptors”

  1. No Siakam for disciplinary reasons!

    Happy New Year to you all!

    Let’s go Knicks!

    P.S. Burned by Silky :-)

  2. Very good news for the Knicks. Siakam has played well against them. Oh man, you can almost taste a winning record!

  3. Okay, so wait a second, let’s say the #9 and #10 seeds play and the #10 seed wins. They then lose the game for the #8 seed, are they now the #9 seed for lottery purposes? What if the #10 seed has 25 wins and the #9 seed has 35 wins? And by virtue of winning one game, the 35 win team would have better lottery odds than the 25 win team?

  4. Why is Alan Hahn talking about Siakam as if he is playing? How do they not know he’s sitting out the game? Shouldn’t they have more info than us about tonight’s game?

  5. Brian Cronin:
    Okay, so wait a second, let’s say the #9 and #10 seeds play and the #10 seed wins. They then lose the game for the #8 seed, are they now the #9 seed for lottery purposes? What if the #10 seed has 25 wins and the #9 seed has 35 wins? And by virtue of winning one game, the 35 win team would have better lottery odds than the 25 win team?

    Dude, don’t be a buzzkill…

  6. What’s the opposite of lit/turned up? That’s exactly what this year’s new year’s eve will be.

  7. oh, almost forgot to mention, in other earth shattering news, vikings changed up their theme song and sped up the tempo of if i had a heart for some reason…i didn’t really like it…

    absolutely astounding to think michael hirst wrote all 620 or so episodes of vikings…that’s just crazy…

  8. there’s like what.. 500 players in the league… i think most people know each other if you’ve spent a few years in the league… that’s like a high school class….

  9. Yeah this is a real poop-tastic start. Hopefully the Knicks can find some rhythm on offense before Toronto does.

  10. Awful start, so many bricks from both teams they could build a tower, albeit a small one.
    How could Mitch miss that point blank shot?

  11. chris boucher is a testament for both toronto’s development program and their eye for talent… simply the best in the league….

  12. Toronto is way too quick on the perimeter for the Knicks to cover, they play 3 guards at all times. Missing Burks, IQ and Frank is going to doom them tonight.

  13. The fact we’re only down by eight right now is a victory in itself.

    I think the Raptors are likely also thinking, “All of this stupid play on our part and we’re actually up eight?”

  14. This game so far should serve as a referendum on why guys need to develop their midrange game. Guys are open around the foul line and are str8 queefing their shots.

  15. how many more crappy shooting performances from rj until we can stop saying ” at least the other parts of his game are ok?”….the guy flat out cannot shoot…

  16. I’m beginning to suffer that our centers couldn’t buy a basket from 3 feet on,
    and Knox could take his floater and stuff it where he prefers, he must shoot only sweet threes.
    Also, worried by the quality of Barrett’s miss, airballs, bricks and line drives, he’s not even close.

  17. OT pedantic clarification re: Canadian sports: hitting people with sticks: too many colons edition:

    Edmonton and Calgary have permission to play games and the rest of the Canadian teams have been given permission to open training camps on “national interest grounds.” They need provincial approval to play games. The Albertan premier is a mini-Trump with regard to Covid, apparently.

  18. how many more crappy shooting performances from rj until we can stop saying ” at least the other parts of his game are ok?”….the guy flat out cannot shoot…

    the lack of shooting is really only from 3…. and that’s always volatile…. i mean folks were ready to call wiseman the next AD and steph washed over 3 games….

    the 3s will come…. especially when the rest of his game is this promising….

  19. and Knox could take his floater and stuff it where he prefers, he must shot only sweet threes.

    Yeah, he should purely camp out behind the line. He’s got a sweet looking stroke from there.

  20. Well that was bad – but def could’ve been a lot worse. Knox’s two 3’s buoying things a bit.

  21. The Wiz are 0-5. I didn’t even look, but I’m sure Russ had a triple double with crappy shooting and 7 turnovers

  22. Ntilakilla:
    Kevin Knox should not be allowed to handle the ball.

    I actually think there are options there for him when he’s been driving. Need to make the right reads when he does.

  23. Someone has to tell Kevin Knox its either cutting to the basket, transition break buckets, or catch and shoot 3 pointers. That is it.

  24. Knox seems to be best used when the game is simplified for him. He hustles like crazy. The dude’s motivation is there. And that three ball shot has looked pure this season. But when he has the ball and has to think, it is not good.

  25. Nice charge by Knox! That was an insane offensive foul. Dude just drove right up to Knox, paused and then shoved him.

  26. d-mar:
    The Wiz are 0-5. I didn’t even look, but I’m sure Russ had a triple double with crappy shooting and 7 turnovers

    Westbrook is the first player since Oscar Robertson to record a triple double in his first four games of the season (he missed a game for resting). And his team is winless.
    I hate the emphasis that media put on triple doubles, especially now with every team scoring 130 points and shooting this much, all the numbers are doped.

  27. It’s a shame there for Knox there is no NBA team in Tampa Bay…he’s playing like his hair is on fiyah!

  28. MUCH more impressive from Knox on that drive! This is the best he’s looked from inside the line this whole season. Maybe ever!

  29. It’s heartening that the team is only down a bucket despite shooting so poor from the 3 stripe.

    Van Fleet is shooting some crazy tough shots and making them as well.

  30. I take it back. Rivers has been quite… adequate so far. I still don’t want him taking time from Quickley when IQ comes back, but certainly while all we have left is Payton, why not.

  31. We were due for a regression from three,
    but tonight (until now) we get the Bad Bullock version.

    Team’s fighting though and that’s a good sign.

  32. What do you guys think about the trivia question? Second most triple doubles in Knick history (Clyde is #1).

  33. My initial thought on the trivia was Mark Jackson. Breen told Clyde he thought that was not it. The only other person that comes to mind is Michael Ray Richardson

  34. Hey guys, here in Europe we’re already in 2021 and it feels fantastic*!! :D

    * – it’s that or it’s the champagne talking :P

    Happy new year to you all! :)

  35. It’s fitting that this game is tied at the half. Both teams were pretty bad. Knox and Rivers the only standouts for the Knicks.

  36. The defense by the Knicks has been outstanding. Thibs is a good defensive coach, no doubt about it. Finishing out possessions, helping then getting back, etc.

  37. The bricklaying by some of the Knicks is understandable, but Bullock not being able to hit water in the ocean is unnerving.

  38. Really pleased by Mitch’s defense so far. Really smart, not biting on fakes, stopping drives, grabbing missed shots. Noel has shown good energy, too. I’d like to see the highlights of all the missed dunks so far, but I’m liking the center duo tonight.

  39. Mitch staying on the court is paramount right now, showing restraint. And Baynes is no picnic for him.

  40. I really think keeping a .150-.200 WS/48 type player like Mitch on the floor is a huge understated part of our success so far this season.

  41. I get the new NBA is all about shooting 3pters because its the most efficient way to play but I’m sorry watching the Raptors play during that half is just not my cup of tea. Just coming up and jacking 3pters left and right many times with no real ball movement or anything just fuck it shoot a 3 is boring to watch.

  42. X-rays were negative on Kevin Knox’s right hand. He has a bone bruise and is available to return.

    Amazingly, we need Knox tonight.

  43. Yes, we’re already in 2021 and despite the Government limitations for 5 minutes it looked like Beirut with all the fireworks.

    Ugly basketball from both teams but I like the effort.

    Randle is possessed like Linda Blair in The Exorcist, he is playing really well.

    The sheer idea that Kevin Knox (AKA The Pride Of Tampa) could become a real player gave me the first hard on of the new year, but he must only shoot threes and go to the bucket with cuts or in transition, Thibs must fine him every time he tries to create.

    I miss Alec Burks, Bullock’s been terrible,
    and i miss IQ (and a little Frank too), but Rivers was decent if unspectacular.

    Toronto’s defense is good but they’re weak in the paint, I’ll like Mitch to be more involved, he could destroy them if he moves well and the teammates feed him.

    Let’s go Knicks!

  44. BigBlueAL:
    I get the new NBA is all about shooting 3pters because its the most efficient way to play but I’m sorry watching the Raptors play during that half is just not my cup of tea.Just coming up and jacking 3pters left and right many times with no real ball movement or anything just fuck it shoot a 3 is boring to watch.

    +1

  45. Coming out of one of the time outs there had to be a crash the boards directive… watching Noel and Knox specifically they were giving their all on offensive glass … sorta was a step up in intensity that serves them well. Another game for the taking here. Keep up the hustle and stay close.

  46. If either team starts to hit threes this will be over quick. Awful shooting out there.

  47. I’m perfectly sober with a bottle of whiskey sitting next to me and I’m really starting to consider drinking it.

  48. Alen Len? Alex Len is hitting threes on us? WTF

    In one of my Knicks alternate histories we sign Kyle Lowry back when he was a WOW superstar but basically unknown..

  49. Knox better not be trying to play through an injury that affects his shooting. I hate when players do that.

  50. So this bourbon I just decided I needed is local from Claverack NY. It’s called Cooper’s daughter. Has almost a cherry taste to it. I recommend.

  51. Ugh… the spin again. Randle looks a bit frustrated,
    Breen and Clyde saying the team has gotten stagnant on O

  52. You might want to guard the tall guy standing in the corner hitting the open threes. Just an idea.

  53. Nurse is a pretty good coach, I guess…

    He really is wringing blood out of a stone with some of these guys.

  54. Look – I know we were expecting a regression in 3pt shooting, but cmon this is beyond falling back to earth.

    Also… Bullock had Knox (one of the few Knicks who CAN shoot from 3 tonight) open on the wing.

  55. bidiong the not so great:
    So this bourbon I just decided I needed is local from Claverack NY. It’s called Cooper’s daughter. Has almost a cherry taste to it. I recommend.

    I drive through Claverack a lot. Beautiful area.

  56. It’s aged in Black Walnut Syrup barrels. I’ve never even heard of black walnut syrup.

  57. This game with all the missed 3s makes me want to have a fruitless discussion about what should be done with the 3 point line.

  58. The Knicks are playing good D, but the Raptors are also running the ball around aimlessly.

  59. It’s funny, Randle might get his second straight triple-double and yet he seems almost invisible out there.

  60. Randle is holding the ball too much. He doesn’t seem to handle double teams well at all.

  61. the knicks were trying to get into a 3pt shooting contest with toronto and it ended up as what you would expect….

  62. the knicks were trying to get into a 3pt shooting contest with toronto and it ended up as what you would expect….

    Yeah, pretty much. It took almost four quarters for Toronto to find their rhythm, but when they got there…yeah.

  63. The last few minutes have looked like the Knicks we (or me/i) dreaded or expected this season. After the first four games though i had convinced myself this was going to be a different kinda team

  64. I criticized Lonzo Ball from day 1 because he couldn’t shoot, I could not condone Barrett for the same sin, he’s becoming a problem.

  65. It’s insane that thibs is letting Randle shoot these free throws and not putting in the bench mob

  66. It’s insane that thibs is letting Randle shoot these free throws and not putting in the bench mob

    Randle was asking him to let him. I don’t mind it.

  67. Nick C.:
    The last few minutes have looked like the Knicks we (or me/i) dreaded or expected this season. After the first four games though i had convinced myself this was going to be a different kinda team

    I still think it’s a different team, we’re missing a lot of players including the best shooter and the best PG. With a limited rotation you’re forced to play Bullock and Barrett even when they play like shit.
    We’re not a good team but we’re not going to shoot 8% on threes every game.

  68. The 3 point line giveth and it taketh away. More so than ever this year it seems. Not stressed about the loss. Officially upgrading myself to Very Worried about RJ however.

  69. 52 of the Raptors 83 FGA were from 3pt range and despite only shooting 33% from there Raptors score 100 pts and win easily. NBA is becoming like the MLB in terms of style of play, MLB is only about the 3 true outcomes and NBA is only about 3pt shooting. I love analytics but it really is making both sports real tough to watch at times nowadays.

  70. BigBlueAL:
    52 of the Raptors 83 FGA were from 3pt range and despite only shooting 33% from there Raptors score 100 pts and win easily.NBA is becoming like the MLB in terms of style of play, MLB is only about the 3 true outcomes and NBA is only about 3pt shooting.I love analytics but it really is making both sports real tough to watch at times nowadays.

    I think sports are going to have to adapt and take more of an eSports approach where they rebalance regularly based on what strategy is currently dominating. If you don’t adjust things it gets solved and the game moves towards degenerate strategies. NBA should announce next week they’re moving the 3 point line back a foot and see what happens.

  71. I still think it’s a different team, we’re missing a lot of players including the best shooter and the best PG. With a limited rotation you’re forced to play Bullock and Barrett even when they play like shit.
    We’re not a good team but we’re not going to shoot 8% on threes every game.

    Oh, no doubt. It was just a reaction to how it went to $#*@ so quickly. It does seem Thibs is having a positive effect though I’m not crazy about the keeping the starters in so late in a blowout

  72. i don’t know why the knicks got suckered into a 3pt shooting contest… maybe they thought they were actually better from 3 than they are but this was one of those games where they needed to drive the ball and get to the line….. elf playing only 23 minutes to get rivers minutes was pretty questionable….

    rj is fine…. that’s a tough thing to believe after two really horrendous shooting performances but shooting is volatile… especially when you’re not that great at it to begin with…. if you really believed steph curry was washed being a 25% 3pt shooter or if wiseman was going to shoot 80% from 3… then maybe you can panic…. but there’s progress underneath the bricks…. and it’s going to show sooner or later…. there’s over 60 games left…. chill out!

  73. You can’t win in what they call basketball this days shooting 3-36 on threes, no matter how well you defend, outrebound the opponent or how you hustle.
    It’s been a strange season from the 3Pt prospective, with many teams alternating ugly nights and shooting barrages, maybe it’s the ghostly atmosphere without the fans, but every team lacks consistency.
    And that’s the first stats that you must check in the morning’s boxscores, it looks that the team that win that battle always win the game.
    Toronto takes 52 threes and 31 two pointers, I’m too old for this shit: booooring.

    But I’m still a Knicks fan and I order RJ Marlo Barrett to wake up and stop shooting like shit.

  74. The problem is GM’s dont care that their approach to team building and style of play is hurting the product and I dont blame them. Many MLB GMs flat out admit that the current product because of the emphasis on the 3 true outcomes is hurting the game but they dont care, it’s the most efficient way to play and run a team so thats what they’re gonna do until rules or whatever change. NBA I don’t necessarily see too much complaints about the current style of play from the people running the game but I’m sorry a game like tonight was pure garbage to watch.

  75. Raptors were desperate
    3s were rarer than rare
    Rotation was poor due to absences
    And 2-3 is much better than 0-5
    Let’s not be greedy

  76. djphan:
    i don’t know why the knicks got suckered into a 3pt shooting contest… maybe they thought they were actually better from 3 than they are but this was one of those games where they needed to drive the ball and get to the line….. elf playing only 23 minutes to get rivers minutes was pretty questionable….

    rj is fine…. that’s a tough thing to believe after two really horrendous shooting performances but shooting is volatile… especially when you’re not that great at it to begin with….if you really believed steph curry was washed being a 25% 3pt shooter or if wiseman was going to shoot 80% from 3… then maybe you can panic…. but there’s progress underneath the bricks…. and it’s going to show sooner or later…. there’s over 60 games left…. chill out!

    Totally agree on the shooting contest part, tonight was the night to pound the paint and unleash Mitch.
    But at the end, a mediocre but not all-time awful shooting night (say 10-36) would have been enough to win, probably they thought that sooner or later the shots started to fall.

  77. BigBlueAL:
    The problem is GM’s dont care that their approach to team building and style of play is hurting the product and I dont blame them.Many MLB GMs flat out admit that the current product because of the emphasis on the 3 true outcomes is hurting the game but they dont care, it’s the most efficient way to play and run a team so thats what they’re gonna do until rules or whatever change.NBA I don’t necessarily see too much complaints about the current style of play from the people running the game but I’m sorry a game like tonight was pure garbage to watch.

    Spot on with the baseball analogy, recently I’ve problem watching baseball games too. But I put all the blame on getting old :-)

  78. i actually think the problem is handchecking…. or maybe not handchecking but perimeter players just have way too much leeway….. maybe we don’t need to get back to 90s quicksand type of ball but the leeway on the gather and the fouling can be excessive which can lead to games like these….

    it’s a long term problem… we’re not really there yet but the league should consider relaxing handchecking at some point…..

  79. DRed:
    Probably shouldn’t have beat the Bucks, probably should have beat Toronto. . .perfectly balanced

    Before the season we were all sure that they’ll going to lose both games, so I’ll take the balance :-)

  80. I actually have no problems watching MLB today. As many here know Im a huge Yankees fan and I watch all 9 innings of almost every game they play without ever complaining. Granted Im fortunate to be rooting for a really good team every year yet they have embraced the current style of play and I dont really notice during a game to be honest. I mean K rates are at an all-time high but you really are only talking about a handful more K’s per game. Like seriously out of 54 (or 51 outs if home team wins) having an extra 3 or 4 come via a strikeout I dont really notice the difference and I watch a ton of games. HRs too, like yeah there are way more now but again you’re talking about like 2 more HR’s per game between both teams.

    Compare that to the NBA and a game like what we just watched, over 80 attempts from 3pt range when as recently as the 90’s teams averaged combined in the mid 20’s per game. Hell as recently as the 2013 Knicks who set all-time records for 3pt attempts and makes in a season, their totals that year would rank in the bottom 5 in the NBA today and that was just 8 years ago!

  81. #Before the season we were all sure that they’ll going to lose both games, so I’ll take the balance :-)#

    I expected 2 Wins vs Cavs, Pacers plus one more Upset against Mil,Tor,Phi at my wildest dreams so I’m totally fine with 2-3 and the overall look of the team since it could probably went southern than Patagonia and go 0-5 quite easily…

  82. Knew Your Nicks:
    #Before the season we were all sure that they’ll going to lose both games, so I’ll take the balance :-)#

    I expected 2 Wins vs Cavs, Pacers plus one more Upset against Mil,Tor,Phi at my wildest dreams so I’m totally fine with 2-3 and the overall look of the team since it could probably went southern than Patagonia and go 0-5 quite easily…

    I’m fine too, our first half schedule was not easy to start with (and now we’ll go back to IND, then at ATL, then UTAH at home, it would be easy to project three losses) and we played as many good quarters as bad ones, if not more. I hope injured players start to trickle back.

  83. Barret’s line is just ugly. As ugly as his shot looked tonight. 0-8 from three – Woof.

    I honestly had a glimmer of hope after game 1.

    Poku had six turnovers tonight for OKC. Tyrese was fine. I watched some Mikal Bridges clips today. I don’t want to talk about it. Has two steals and three 3s already tonight. Ben Simmons hit a three. Thaddeus Young is alive and apparenlty won that game for Chicago (ok, he had a high /-). Cole Anthony was Barrett-esque tonight with his shooting but can actually rebound and pass pretty well. Has been better than I expected.

    And my man Mitch, with the 0 in 25 minutes. Thought he looked in control out there on defense at least. He is disappearing in offensive sets more than I can ever remember but is a much steadier and consistent presence on the defensive end.

    Also, I loved the Riley Knicks and had a giant poster of Oak, Mase, and Patrick on my wall but I have no need to return to the brutality of that basketball. It was ugly. It was fun because we won but I prefer the modern NBA to prisonball.

  84. With a different coach i guess 0-5 would have been an easy lay up.
    Thibs hasn’t work much time with these guys.
    Guys who Most of them were considered as washed/busts/soon out of America and he made them 1.play D 2.move the ball 3.move themselves and play competitive bball.
    Unfortunately injuries brought us slightly back but…so far i’m very pleased with the knicks overall.

  85. To put it in perspective, it took Ben Simmons one 3pt shot tonight to make more 3’s than RJ has made in his last 21 attempts.

  86. Owen:

    Also, I loved the Riley Knicks and had a giant poster of Oak, Mase, and Patrick on my wall but I have no need to return to the brutality of that basketball. It was ugly. It was fie because we won but I prefer the modern NBA to prisonball.

    There’s no need to go back to that, it’s all in the balance, in the nuances, in watching different playing styles clash… I love the heavenly Spurs of 2014 Finals, the Warriors pre-Durant, it’s already “modern” basketball but is different from today’s shooting galleries. BTW gimme the Showtime Lakers and I’m okay, I could spare the bloodshed :-)

  87. Knew Your Nicks:
    With a different coach i guess 0-5 would have been an easy lay up.
    Thibs hasn’t work much time with these guys.
    Guys who Most of them were considered as washed/busts/soon out of America and he made them 1.play D 2.move the ball 3.move themselves and play competitive bball.
    Unfortunately injuries brought us slightly back but…so far i’m very pleased with the knicks overall.

    +1

  88. As long as I don’t get a text from any of my trollin’-ass coworkers about our shooting tonight, I ain’t trippin.

    It’s tough when most of your guard rotation and best 3pt shooters are out hurt. They were in it until almost the end.

    I think “regression to the mean” is an #lolKnicks fanclub member because that was some historic bricklaying that was cosmically unfair.

  89. #Reggie Bullock (0-9) and RJ Barrett (0-8) went a combined 0-17 from 3-point range tonight.They are the 1st pair of teammates in NBA history to each go 0-8 or worse from 3-point range in a game#

    “Really? Worst film you ever saw. Well, my next one will be better. Hello. Hello.”
    Ed Wood

  90. Too many playoff teams in MLB. That’s the part of the game that has changed for the worse IMO. The concept of the pennant race is completely dead, it has instead taken the form of mediocre teams trying to get into a play-in game so they can try to make a fluky run through the playoffs.

  91. Reggie Bullock (0-9) and RJ Barrett (0-8) went a combined 0-17 from 3-point range tonight.They are the 1st pair of teammates in NBA history to each go 0-8 or worse from 3-point range in a game. pic.twitter.com/ZvecwU6aME

    One last piece of history before the New Year begins!

  92. The problem tonight was that we were missing FRANK!

    We needed his 3 point shooting.

    Happy New Year!

  93. To be honest I was kind of surprised we were shooting so well from 3. I expected the entire league to get off to a poor start because of the shortened camps and pre season.

    An occasional slump is to be expected. But what RJ is going through right now is pretty ugly. He’s still hitting his FTs and looks fine to me otherwise, but man. At some point you just have to take a deep breath and stop shooting them unless it’s from the perfect spot for you. Then when you get your confidence back you can get aggressive again.

  94. Happy new year to y’all!

    And some of you are questioning the 3 point shooting style of the current NBA… Well we’ve been through the rockets missing 27 3 pointers in a row and an elite team was doing that because that’s arguably the only way to make up for a difference of an extra KD. The reason a Knicks game outcome was decided similarly might be the defense scheme chose to direct the ball this way. Maybe the 3 pointer thing is happening too fast in the last several years for defense architects and players to build something against it. Maybe it can happen.

  95. BigBlueAL: strike

    On baseball, I miss the action.
    With the TTO in full effect the percentage of ball in play has drastically reduced, so less defense, less players running around, less movement from the cutoff men, less “will he give the green light at third?” moments, less aesthetically beautiful situations.
    I’ll take a double in the gap with a speedster on first over every home run… except for the Yankees’ one! :-)
    (and that’s another problem, now I only watch Yankees’ games, I used to watch every inning I could put my eyes on no matter the teams involved)

  96. Maybe the 3 pointer thing is happening too fast in the last several years for defense architects and players to build something against it. Maybe it can happen.

    The history of the league is one where there is constantly a battle between offenses and defenses making adjustments to each other. If one side became too dominant (sometimes it was a single player), the defenses changed or the rules were tweaked to make the game more balanced and enjoyable again. Before it was fashionable, I loved 7 seconds or less and a lot of 3 point shooting. But everyone said you couldn’t win that way because 3 pointers were too volatile under extreme playoff pressure. Then the Warriors won big and set off a bigger 3 point frenzy. No one seems to be considering that the Warriors had 3 of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time on the same team, but teams like the Rockets have continued to fizzle out and dog it under playoff pressure.

    Unless the public gets sick of this style of basketball like I have, the rules are tweaked again, defensive strategies are refined and improved, or heavy 3 point shooting teams start fizzling out late in the playoffs, I think we are stuck with this style of basketball. Personally, I’d WAY rather see a mix of great post play, 3 point shooting, and mid range basketball. Hakeem’s Rockets were a beautiful mix.

  97. ShwinnyPooh
    @shwinnypooh
    The Knicks are 2-0 when Frank Ntilikina is in the rotation. Really makes you think….
    Happy New Year!

    The straw that stirs the drink.

    I love the Frank Hive. hahahaha

  98. Happy New Year!!

    Here’s to hoping our 3p% stays higher than the ABV of my beer this year!

  99. I don’t think Farfa can summon the will to do a recap of last night’s horror show.

    Maybe Stephen King can step up?

    And Happy New Year K-Bloggers!

  100. Happy 2021 everyone. It sure feels good to be on the other side.

    A few random thoughts about last night.

    Having a journeyman combo guard show up with no practice or time with the team and appear to play more than adequately at the point shows just what a shitstorm our point guard play has been. Here’s to the idealized form of IQ materializing out of the hazy fragments of our hopes and dreams of 2021, and soon.

    I’ve always struggled with Bullock because he has seemed so streaky from deep (and really doesn’t do much else). Admittedly last night was extreme, but it seems as if Burks is at least much more consistent (and seems to do other things better). I did appreciate him taking (and making) a few mid-range jumpers later in the game – sometimes one needs to get one’s eye back with some easy stuff. Didn’t really help but I respected the intent.

    I’ll let others rag on RJ. Our centers seemed off and on, but in general played good defense, rebounded, and protected the rim. I sure would like to see more (successful) lobs and rim runs though.

    As usual, I find myself horribly conflicted by these games. We played hard and lost, which is the perfect combo. Except for playing hard and winning, which was easily attainable if we’d just hit a few threes. Of course, the Raptors could have won by 40 if they’d hit a few of theirs. So, as someone once said about something else in my youth, how should I feel about this?

  101. I missed most of last night’s game (and all of the second half). That box score though, wow.

    Happy New Year!
    Just 19 more days?

  102. Mitch seems like he’s struggled finishing so far. Not sure if it’s the lobs but he’s had trouble on some of the offensive rebounds too, I think. Eyetest says he does look a little less springy this year.

  103. Iseman:

    Knicks injury report for tmrw vs. Pacers: Prob.: Knox (sore left knee, bruised right hand); Quest.: Burks (sprained left ankle), Quickley (sore left hip); Out: Ntilikina (sprained right knee), DSJ (contused left quad), Spellman (sore right knee), Toppin (strained right calf)

  104. Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird:
    Mitch seems like he’s struggled finishing so far. Not sure if it’s the lobs but he’s had trouble on some of the offensive rebounds too, I think. Eyetest says he does look a little less springy this year.

    I think it’s party we played some teams with good men, partly he’s playing against starters instead of bench players, and partly everyone knows what he does well and they are trying to take those things away. If he had a couple of post moves, could dribble once or twice to the rim or throw up a very short jumper once in awhile, it would be tougher to shut him down. Sure, a TS% of 70% is wonderful, but if all you can do is catch lobs and put back OREBS, you are only going to get so many of those. Some teams will make you almost irrelevant if they key on you. He has to add a couple of things if he wants to be consistent factor every night and really take advantage of the good matchups.

  105. Eyetest says he does look a little less springy this year.

    I figured he wasn’t trying to jump out of the gym so much in an effort to pace himself and rein in some of his fouls. He doesn’t looked so gassed so quickly anymore.

  106. Last night’s shooting was abysmal, but they did a good job of staying on the court against a good team for most of the game. It wasn’t pretty, and you’re gonna struggle against the zone if the three doesn’t fall, but it wasn’t particularly discouraging.

  107. With the TTO in full effect the percentage of ball in play has drastically reduced, so less defense, less players running around, less movement from the cutoff men, less “will he give the green light at third?” moments, less aesthetically beautiful situations.

    I think you see better defense now because teams know how to value it correctly.

    Most of the changes to the game itself since the statistical revolution have changed the game for the better in my opinion. It used to drive me nuts to see teams lead off with their .310 OBP middle infielder, because that’s the way Leo Durocher did it or some bullshit. Saving your closer for the 9th inning even if it’s a lower leverage situation than the 8th inning. Shit like that. Don’t miss it at all.

  108. Last night, in addition to the RJ and Reggie pairing on 3P, we made a little bit more history…
    The Knicks’ starters went 0-23 on 3-pointers tonight.
    That is the most misses without a make by a starting 5 all-time.

  109. But the result was kind of expected, right? An undermanned Knicks team beating the Cavaliers is one thing, to beat the Raptors would be a total surprise.

    And also i think Randle was tired because of the minutes he played in the previous game, and was fading as the game went on. As he has been our most valuable player, that’s a huge difference.

  110. Agree 100% with you JK47 about baseball.

    To me, taking more threes, or less long twos, is the same kind of thing, just the elimination of something that was just pretty dumb.

    As for Mitch, they said he is up 10 pounds this year on one of the telecasts I think. Maybe that is affecting him on offense. He looks fine to me though. I think what we are seeing is more a product of less PNR than anything else.

  111. And because not all records of futility are from the Knicks, last night PJ Tucker didn’t try any FG or FT in 32:26 of play. Didn’t read it anywhere, but it’s probably the most time without a FG/FT, i think.

  112. ptmilo:
    don’t know the record but tucker was nowhere near it.eg joel anthony v hawks 1/18/11

    Wow, that’s a hell of a record 43:12 without a single FG/FT attempt!? But hey, in a team with Wade, Lebron and Bosh, and being your only assignment to protect the rim, there’s really no need to have a FGA.

  113. JK47: I think you see better defense now because teams know how to value it correctly.

    Most of the changes to the game itself since the statistical revolution have changed the game for the better in my opinion. It used to drive me nuts to see teams lead off with their .310 OBP middle infielder, because that’s the way Leo Durocher did it or some bullshit. Saving your closer for the 9th inning even if it’s a lower leverage situation than the 8th inning. Shit like that. Don’t miss it at all.

    I agree 100% with the two instances (subpar infielders batting leadoff and saving the closer) and with many other similar bad “traditional” adages, but as I said in a previuos post, it’s all in the nuances, It’s not yes/no to the use of numbers and efficiency, is much more complex.

    I’ve subscribed to BP since 1996, I chat with standard bearers of the numbers revolution (no name dropping :-) ) and even them admit that is gone too far, that you can’t have a game where you could have 10-12 minutes without a ball in play, and let’s not talk about the impact of the SABR revolution on the economy and labor of baseball, giving the owners a smart/moral excuse to be greedier and cheapier than ever (as if they needed one).

    Everything taken to the extreme is bad for a sport (everybody knows examples of that) that’s why rules are tweaked.
    You outlaw hand-checking, play 3-on-3 overtimes, reduce the number of players for the offside rule (european football), rise the mound, lower the mound… and maybe in the next few years you outlaw the shift and remove the corner three (or maybe widen the floor and made them equal to other threes).

  114. I’m watching the DAL-MIA game and looks like no team could play two decent games in a row.

    Covid, bubble exaustion, injuries, shortened training camp, no fans in the stand (with few stupid exceptions), as of now this is the most inconsistent season I remember since… 1998-99?
    A big annoyance for my bets :-)

  115. And Nets getting their asses kicked by the Hawks.

    Damn you Heat, could have been a perfect NBA night!

  116. I’ve lost a lot of interest in baseball over the last decade or so. I don’t like the HR or bust approach at the plate where teams regularly strike out 10+ times a game. I don’t like the shift. I don’t like pitchers getting pulled after 100 pitches. I don’t like bandbox ballparks like the new Yankee Stadium (didn’t like the old bandboxes either, like The Launching Pad in ATL either, and many of the new stadiums are awesome). I don’t like the DH. I don’t like the lack of bunting, stealing, moving guys over. I don’t like 12 pitching changes a game.

  117. I’ve lost a lot of interest in baseball over the last decade or so. I don’t like the HR or bust approach at the plate where teams regularly strike out 10+ times a game. I don’t like the shift. I don’t like pitchers getting pulled after 100 pitches.

    I hate to break the bad news, but Pie Traynor and Eddie Stanky aren’t in the league anymore either.

  118. And what’s with these modern day mollycoddles and their “fielding gloves?” Are there no more real men like the great Al Spalding left? Don’t even get me started with these new fangled balls that curve.

    Somebody fetch me a sasparilla.

  119. JK47: I hate to break the bad news, but Pie Traynor and Eddie Stanky aren’t in the league anymore either.

    How droll. Seems like I have some company though…

    “For years, articles bemoaning baseball’s ability to attract a younger audience have shot up like weeds, but in 2019 they have more currency, because we have more data. A recent Gallup poll shows that only 9 percent of people in the United States are listing baseball as their favorite sport. That’s the lowest number since Gallup started asking the question in 1937. Recent statistics also show that ballpark attendance is down in 19 of the 30 stadiums around the league. Camera shots of games being played in front of near empty crowds are now plentiful….

    Analytic approaches to hitting have now become conventional wisdom, with players trying to extend pitch counts, draw walks and swing for the fences, going for a home run or a strike out. The first-ball hitter or the sacrifice bunt are considered antiquated. This slows the game down. It also decreases the number of fielding possibilities, which not only grinds the game down, but makes it more—and here is that word—boring.”

  120. I love when the only NBA game I can watch is the only game within 10 points.

    Three 3s for Derozan tonight

  121. Baseball attendance is down, to be sure, but it’s down from a peak in 2007 (and baseball’s attendance is soooooooooo far ahead of where it was in the past. 2019 saw about 28,000 people per game. The very first year that baseball cracked 28,000 people per game was 1993). And you’d be hard pressed to be, like, “Ah, yes, the good old days of 2007!” when talking about the style of play. Not only that, but a good deal of the attendance reduction is from teams reducing capacity to charge more for attendance. Plus, watching baseball is so much easier when you can watch it anywhere and that has an effect on attendance. Due to people watching on their phone and computers and TVs (and paying for the right), baseball’s revenues were at an all-time high in 2019 (almost double their revenues from the attendance peak in 2007).

    And that “Baseball is down to just 9% of people’s favorite sport!” bit loses a lot of meaning when you know that its peak in the past 20 years was at 14%, set in the halcyon days of 2013 (most years it had been between 10-12%).

  122. I don’t think the product on the field is baseball’s biggest problem, their biggest problem is all the animosity between the owners and MLBPA. Mainly how owners and front offices are actively trying their hardest to put the best product on the field as cheaply as possible. It’s disastrous that here were are in January, 2 months since the season ended and less than 2 months until Spring Training and all the big Free Agents are still unsigned. NBA and even the NFL have just as much interest from their fans during the off-season, I mean the first week of the NBA off-season might be even more popular and fun than the postseason.

    Yet MLB becomes completely obsolete and the majority of the fan bases have to deal with rumors about trading their best players because they’re about to become free agents or nowadays just reaching arbitration makes players too expensive in the eyes of some front offices. Its ridiculous and this is coming from a huge Yankees fan so I thankfully don’t have to worry about that part but still this offseason its been 2 months and they have not made 1 transaction and their arguably best player is a FA and they still havent come to a deal yet. Its killing the sport and just wait until next year when the odds are very high there will be a lockout. Ownership in MLB seems more interested in making money and spending the least amount of money as possible compared to NBA/NFL, biggest problem is the commissioner seems to want the same thing.

  123. Z-man: I’ve lost a lot of interest in baseball over the last decade or so. I don’t like the HR or bust approach at the plate where teams regularly strike out 10 times a game. I don’t like the shift. I don’t like pitchers getting pulled after 100 pitches. I don’t like bandbox ballparks like the new Yankee Stadium (didn’t like the old bandboxes either, like The Launching Pad in ATL either, and many of the new stadiums are awesome). I don’t like the DH. I don’t like the lack of bunting, stealing, moving guys over. I don’t like 12 pitching changes a game.

    My teams are the Knicks, the Jets and (thank God) the Yankees. If you ask me which is #1 and which game is #1 it would be the Yankees and baseball with the rest tied for 2nd. I also know it better than basketball or football, much better. And I instilled the love of baseball in my kids and for a lot of kids where I live. Some who played with my kids ended up in the MLB.

    The response to your post, first, is that I can’t tell you who to love. But as to the changes to baseball have gone on since the inception of the game. But analytics, what this board loves, is what caused a lot of that. It’s the same in basketball. There’s the total lack of defense, games come down to who pours in more 3 point shots. Lack of parity and super-teams are sapping fan interest.

    I happen to love the DH, dislike the overload on HRs and don’t mind the evolution of pitching but I think there need to be some boundaries. MLB is looking to enforce position play like not allowing more than 3 men in the OF. They already dealt with pitching changes by requiring a reliever to pitch to 3 batters.

    The greatest tradition in baseball is that of change. Dead ball era, spitballs, raising the mound, dividing and expanding the leagues, add playoffs, wild cards and interleague play.

    All enterprises must evolve or become extinct.

  124. baseball is my favorite sport to watch, i mostly just watch the yankees though…almost always i’ll tune in for the whole nine innings…thankfully as a yanks fan i don’t really need to get an mlb subscription, the yanks are on national tv all the time…

    perfect sport for relaxing, reading, napping, doing chores…disconnect from the game for a while, and, you don’t really feel like you missed much…

    it’s like three and a half hours of just chilling…

    count me in though with other folks who aren’t so crazy about the home-run/walk or bust approach at the plate, the shift knocking 20 points off of everyone’s average…four or five pitchers for each side every game…hopefully at some point the game changes away from this current style…

  125. BTW, the Jets future QB is playing right now. Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) vs Justin Fields (Ohio State). For those not following, Fields is playing out of his mind. 22 for 26, 385 yards, 6 TDs. Much of it after he took a helmet in the ribs that got the LB that hit him thrown from the game. He might be playing with a cracked rib. 14 minutes left in Q4.

  126. I don’t really have much skin in this argument, so whatever. I will still watch the Mets when they are good, but beyond that, I’d rather watch a Knicks summer league game than pretty much any non-Mets baseball game. That was not the case until recently. I probably couldn’t name more than 2 players on any non-marquee team nowadays. Maybe when guys start going the other way or bunting rather than pounding balls into the shift or striking out, I’ll get interested again.

    As to the NBA, I’m not a big fan of the launching 50 3’s a game craze either. Personally, I hate the way that the long 2 has been devalued…it’s a shot that takes lots of skill and yet making 20 footers even at 50% is a losing proposition. The back-to-the-basket mano-a-mano stuff is a thing of beauty to me…yet those guys are marginalized now. I liked things better when the 3 was a specialty shot that only the specialists made at 35 %. But there’s still a preponderance of teams that play a diversified offense to keep me riveted.

    The Spurs Duncan-Ginobili-Parker Spurs played basketball about as aesthetically pleasing as any team I ever watched. I’d love for the league to make changes that encourage that style of play…and discourage whatever it is that D’Antoni’s Rockets did. To me, it’s no different than changing rules to discourage what the Late 90’s teams were doing.

    Just my opinion, there’s clearly no right or wrong here.

  127. MLB owners are finally realizing that giving out monstrous bloated contracts to free agents who are entering their decline phases rarely works out.

    The Rays just almost won the WS with like 2/3 of the roster making the rookie minimum. The big free agents this year are a 31-year old CF, an ace pitcher who has had one good season and a catcher in his 30’s.

    I want my team (Mets) to sign all of them other than the catcher, because I think we’re a team that can win right now and we have a lot of other pieces who are playing for peanuts. But it’s not hard to see why the FA period has been slow. Front offices are getting smarter.

  128. BigBlueAL: and the majority of the fan bases have to deal with rumors about trading their best players because they’re about to become free agents

    That’s something I miss as well, having a “team” that stays together for a few years. It’s great for the players that they can chase the money around or collude to build superteams, but there’s something to having a core that sticks around for a good, long run.

  129. JK47:

    I want my team (Mets) to sign all of them other than the catcher, because I think we’re a team that can win right now and we have a lot of other pieces who are playing for peanuts. But it’s not hard to see why the FA period has been slow. Front offices are getting smarter.

    Travor Bauer gives me pause. Maybe the smarter move is to get two mid-rotation pitchers and some more bullpen help than pay him Gerrit Cole type figures.

  130. Sorry if I’m repeating stuff written above – hadn’t gotten a chance to really look in here until now. But I was really so encouraged by the loss the other night. The Raptors aren’t a great team, but they’re a good and very well coached team. We kind of let go of the rope in the 4th but in spite of a truly historically awful shooting night, we were right there Until maybe the last 8 minutes of the game or so.

    To put in context – we shot 1 for 20 on wide open 3’s and 2 for 14 on open 3s per the stats tracking shot dashboard. We honestly defended the hell out of the ball and my guess is chose to let Alex Len shoot corner 3’s. (Although same could be said of TOR letting Barrett shoot 8 3s). Even so, on most nights, we will hit at least 9 of 34 open or wide open 3s regardless of who is shooting them, and those 6 not-made 3s were basically the difference.

    And I read somewhere that Randle had 14 potential assists on 3 point attempts, meaning that he was very much in line for another triple double, and this time with only 3 TOs instead of 9.

    I am starting to drink the Thibs kool-aid I think. This team just looks so much more competent. If we could get Barrett going a little though, I’d feel much better.

    Hopefully Quickley back tonight.

  131. Here in Greece nobody has a clue about baseball and how’s it’s been played despite Hollywood’s many movies about it and rugby/American football was also never promoted, possibly considered very violent? Idk…
    But bball is very famous here and nba has many fans from the Magic/Bird era till today.
    Strangely soccer(aka football in Europe) is the most famous sport (even before euro 2004 success) despite its quality is trash compared to other European ones.
    It’s been deep in the dna of the people and being (or declaring wo even care) a fan of one among the most popular soccer teams is considered part of the culture and natural as knowing your astrological sign.

  132. I am starting to drink the Thibs kool-aid I think. This team just looks so much more competent. If we could get Barrett going a little though, I’d feel much better.

    I was already drinking the kool-aid when we hired him, but now I’m taking a bath in it. If you listen to everything he says, he occasionally provides a tidbit of his thinking on an issue or strategy, This is the first time in a very long time I think we have someone that understands the game well, understands the data on both sides of the ball well, and is implementing strategies to maximize our output on both sides given the players he has to work with. At the same time, my confidence in the development staff is also growing. We may not have a lot of talent, but I think we are going to get better and he’s going to get more out of them through his coaching strategies than any recent coach.

  133. Z-man:
    I wonder how a redraft would look right now…

    Lamelo has been good. So has Deni. Tyrese and Bey go higher.Cole Anthony goes higher (ouch).

    Quickley goes #1

  134. Z-man:
    I wonder how a redraft would look right now…

    I’d go with
    1. Wiseman
    2. Ball
    3. Avdija
    4. Haliburton
    5. Edwards

  135. Owen: Lamelo has been good. So has Deni. Tyrese and Bey go higher.Cole Anthony goes higher (ouch).

    Quickley goes #1

    lol
    additionally,
    risers: Prichard, Bey, Precious, Bane
    fallers: Obi, Hayes, Poku

    Obviously too early to call any of these moves, although Deni and LaMelo look for real and Bey looks very solid

  136. I actually thought Beys numbers would be higher. Was good in preseason and last night but TS% low so far.

    Obviously we need a long time. Alex Len is apparently now an NBA player who shoots better than RJ Barrett from three.

    I watched some of Wiseman last night. I wasn’t overwhelmed.

  137. What about 2019? RJ probably drops a couple of spots, Clarke, Herro, Thybulle Hunter and Hayes move up…

    I wonder if we could trade RJ straight up for Cam Reddish…

  138. Wiseman has serious recognition/lateral movement issues. Not sure how that will play out over time. The shooting form looks good and he runs the floor pretty well. I still think he was worth a high lottery pick, and at worst he’ll be a nice trade chip for a while (bigs like him seem to have excess value beyond production, see: KP) if GS wants to go that way.

  139. 2019 draft?

    We go back and rerun the lottery and finish first or second.

    Some of the players have been more useful than I expected.. like Hunter and it appears Hachimura this year. But don’t know.

  140. I still like RJ.

    Obviously a streak like this from 3 is not encouraging. Some it is randomness, but good shooters rarely have bad streaks like this. I still think once we have a team with adequate PG play and spacing he’s going get better shots and show more than we are seeing now. So even if he’s actually a 32% 3 point shooter (or thereabouts), he’s going to be fine once the team is better and he can use his strengths better. Then you still hold out hope the FT% keeps rising and 3P% can get into the mid 30% range and even better over time. Maybe we won’t see that for awhile, but if Quickley runs the team well and is drawing serious attention because he’s shooting so well, it could really open up the court and help RJ now. We are asking a lot of Quickley (probably too much because we are so desperate for good PG play), but we are allowed to hope.

  141. Ingmarrrr: I’d go with
    1. Wiseman
    2. Ball
    3. Avdija
    4. Haliburton
    5. Edwards

    Wiseman has been not so good. Despite shooting 50% from 3, his TS% is now down to .509. He’s taken 53% of his shots from midrange and been pretty bad from there.

    If Ball is real, then you need to take him #1.

  142. I get the feeling the league is starting to go “big” again.

    The league went smaller because the Warriors had a lot of success with their small lineup. But that Warrior team was an aberration in a LOT of ways. Last year the Lakers were killing teams with their size (one of my correct predictions). It was like a step back in history from the Warriors playing small with the “death lineup” and blasting 3s from everywhere. They just happened to have 3 of the greatest 3 point shooters of all time on the same team and a guy like Draymond who was a super elite switchable defender than could handle some bigs. Maybe the tide is turning back again.

  143. Owen:
    2019 draft?

    We go back and rerun the lottery and finish first or second.

    Some of the players have been more useful than I expected.. like Hunter and it appears Hachimura this year. But don’t know.

    One way to sidestep the controversy is to put it this way: if we wound up at #4 and Zion, Ja and RJ were all off the board, who would have been the best pick in hindsight? Herro is looking like the winner…then Clarke, Hunter or Rui….

  144. I’d also say I’m not sold on Deni. He’s not a .476 3pt shooter and he’s only scoring 11pts per 36 so far, which is underwhelming.

  145. Quickley probable for tonight!

    MLB owners are finally realizing that giving out monstrous bloated contracts to free agents who are entering their decline phases rarely works out.

    The problem with this from a labor perspective is for a while there was kind of an unspoken agreement in which players were ripped off via the rookie-scale and arbitration process early in their careers and then were taken care of on the backend with these contracts.

    The owners aren’t holding up their end of that deal anymore. I agree with you that there’s likely no putting the cat back in the bag, as the majority of those contracts were bad values. What the players need to do to adjust during the next CBA negotiations is insist on a system that gets them paid earlier. Restricted free agency in the NBA is one model.

    Aaron Judge is about to play his 6th MLB season and has yet to make $10M in a season. He’ll get paid decently in arbitration but still nothing compared to what he’d get on the market. The problem is he won’t be a free agent until 2023, when he’ll be in his 30s. This is the kind of situation the MLBPA has to find a way to avoid.

  146. I’d go with
    1. Wiseman
    2. Ball
    3. Avdija
    4. Haliburton
    5. Edwards

    The Wiseman hype is bizarre. Is it just because he hit some threes early on? He’s been objectively bad by both the numbers and the eye-test (YMMV on the latter).

    It’s so ridiculously early an actual redraft would probably be nearly identical to the actual draft. Haliburton would rise, maybe by a lot, and Ball might go above Edwards. It’s hard for me to see much else changing.

  147. Z-man:
    I wonder how a redraft would look right now…

    You’re going for the record, Z-Man, a re-draft 5 or 6 games into the season must be a first! ;)

  148. Querly Q-Word, Pen Name of Pen Name Early Bird: Wiseman has been not so good. Despite shooting 50% from 3, his TS% is now down to .509. He’s taken 53% of his shots from midrange and been pretty bad from there.

    If Ball is real, then you need to take him #1.

    Wiseman can do things not many can, like his drives to the basket with those huge steps, and his excellent blocks. He’s 19, when he gets stronger you’d think his 2p% would go up, and his game awareness. In other words I think his ceiling is very high.

    Avdija is just so well rounded, he could be like a superglue guy. Like a Batum++. That’s a very good player.

  149. You’re going for the record, Z-Man, a re-draft 5 or 6 games into the season must be a first! ;)

    During the 2018 summer league we had people saying they’d take Kevin Knox over Trae Young

  150. cybersoze: You’re going for the record, Z-Man, a re-draft 5 or 6 games into the season must be a first! ;)

    It’s just for fun…I think we have MUCH more information than we did at draft time, don’t you? Of course, not enough to make solid judgments, but still…I mean we used to do this after summer league!

  151. Ingmarrrr: Wiseman can do things not many can, like his drives to the basket with those huge steps, and his excellent blocks. He’s 19, when he gets stronger you’d think his 2p% would go up, and his game awareness. In other words I think his ceiling is very high.

    Avdija is just so well rounded, he could be like a superglue guy. Like a Batum++. That’s a very good player.

    The concern is why does an athletic C, who apparently can get to the basket so easily with his large steps, need to take 53% of his shots from midrange? If he needs to get stronger, then he should still be at the basket more and just missing those shots.

    I don’t think his draft position changes much based on what we’ve seen. But he’s played into a lot of the negative question marks looming over his head.

    Batum was (is?) a very good defender. I’m not sure Deni is. I haven’t watched any games though. And again, he’s not a great shooter despite some early success.

  152. Z-man: It’s just for fun…I think we have MUCH more information than we did at draft time, don’t you? Of course, not enough to make solid judgments, but still…I mean we used to do this after summer league!

    Yeah, of course. That’s what we do here. It was just a fun post to brighten our day.

  153. About the 2019 draft, i’m still hopeful on RJ, but as of now maybe it would have been better to trade down and get Clarke and other player i forgot, like some posters said here. I remember the idea was to trade down from 3rd to get 8th and 10th, both picks from Atlanta, where we would select Clarke and i think the other was Nickeil Alexander-Walker, but i’m not sure. How’s that going? Maybe RJ is losing… :(
    I’m almost sure the other player wasn’t Herro, as that pairing would be clear winners against RJ. And they were both available, at 8th and 10th.

  154. I wonder how many teams would actually give up on their draft pick after 5 games

    Anthony Bennett shot 1-20 in his first five games, which would have made me give up on him. But also if my team had chosen Anthony Bennett at #1 overall, I would have given up on the whole thing before the season even started.

    2013, what a lottery!

    Oladipo
    McCollum
    KCP
    Porter Jr.
    Steven Adams

    with Noel and Michael Carter-Williams off the bench

    Does that team break .500 in 2021?

  155. I love Masai, but boy, the roster construction on this Raptors team is weeeeird. They have so little size at the forward spot that Nurse has to play Stanley Johnson big minutes, but at the same time, they can’t get their promising guards on the court. Matt Thomas would have led the NBA in three point percentage last season had he played enough minutes, but he and Terence Davis (second team all-rookie last year) basically share minutes now. Only one of them plays per game. Malachi Flynn looks legit, but the Raptors have Lowry AND VanVleet ahead of him so he never plays. I know Masai got Flynn for next year, where they likely let Lowry go and make VanVleet the lead guard, but the Raptors should also be trying to compete NOW, no? And Masai not adding any size at the 4 hurts that ability. Don’t get me wrong, his talent acquisition is still top notch (pulling Boucher, Terence Davis and Matt Thomas out of thin air and possibly even redeeming Alex freaking Len), but the roster construction is confusing for a team that should still be a playoff contender this year.

  156. I am so pumped about Quickley being healthy tonight. Thibs clearly loves Rivers, so the PG mintues are going to be fascinating.

  157. The Honorable Cock Jowles: 2013, what a lottery!

    Does that team break .500 in 2021?

    Would the 2015 team win easily against that team? I think they might beat them, but not all that easily.

    2015 team? Maybe this one:
    Starters – D’Angelo Russell (#2), Devin Booker (#13), Kelly Oubre (#15), Porzingis (#4), KAT (#1)
    Bench – Terry Rozier (#16), Norman Powell (#46), Josh Richardson (#40), Montrezl Harrell (#32 – a Knicks pick), Myles Turner (#11).

    PS: I had to look up who Porter Jr is, and that (probably) tells what it’s needed to say about the 2013 draft! LOL

  158. Technically, the #15 pick is not in the lottery, no?

    We’re talking only lottery players. 2013 would have Giannis and Gobert, which is a playoff team on its own.

  159. Brian, if Burks is still out, the issue solves itself, as we go to a 9-man rotation, with Rivers and IQ in the backcourt and Knox and Noel up front. We had a few games there where our only reserve guard was Frank, and then Rivers.

    And even if Burks is back, both he and Bullock can play SF with Knox at the 4. The 10-man rotation minutes distribution was pretty good before half the team got hurt, so I’m not too worried about IQ getting time. The question is whether IQ or Rivers is clearly the lead ballhandler in the second unit. Frank was only nominally the backup point guard, but the offense didn’t really run through him.

  160. The Honorable Cock Jowles:
    Technically, the #15 pick is not in the lottery, no?

    We’re talking only lottery players. 2013 would have Giannis and Gobert, which is a playoff team on its own.

    Oh, you’re right. I missed the part that it was only guys selected in the lottery.

    But then 2015 gets even weaker, you have to put the guy Brian is talking (Stanley Johnson) at SF, or else i don’t know… point-forward superstar Hezonja? LOL!

  161. Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman:
    RJ Barrett, in his first comments since his 3-point shooting disaster in Tampa on New Year’s Eve, said he did go back onto the court after the game to launch shots. That’s become sort of an NBA trend. Nothing else to do as Knicks stayed overnight.

    Well, if Payton after a FG 0-6, 3P 0-3 performance, got to the court again late at night and in the following game he went FG 12-16, 3P 3-3.
    I don’t expect anything less than all-star level performance from RJ for today! :D

  162. here’s a 5-game checkup on RJ:
    The Bad

    3pt fg %: .125
    yes the 3pt shooting sucks but alec burks is currently leading the league in 3pt shooting followed by denzel valentine… jeff teague.. divenczo .. sterling brown and sexton…. it’s volatile and it’s going to take a while for it to stabilize no matter who you are…. we can check back on this in a month or two….

    2pt fg%: .439
    this is the more worrying part…. 2p fg% is also volatile but rj’s is less so given 80% of his 2’s come within 0-3 ft… i was hoping for a more diverse shooting chart than last year.. and there’s still time for that… but it does look like we’re seeing about 90% of last year rj in these first 5 games…. 0-3 ft minor improvement to .588 …. but that’s still not good as it should be over 60%…. and the reason for that is pretty simple… he’s forcing a lot of these drives and it’s resulting in a large percentage of his shots (20%) in that 3-10 ft range..,. or the bermuda triangle in the shot chart… that’s bad for any player… the solution is simple here.. force less…

    The Good

    Reb per 36: 7.2

    This could be a function of replacing morris with bullock in most of the RJ lineups but this is a nice bump up as it puts him in the category of not only rebounding well for a SG… but this is really good as a SF and he might be able to play as a 4 in super small lineups…

    Assist per 36: 3.5 TO:2.1

    This is the ‘ball handling’ metric and it’s better than last year… he is looking for the open man a little more on his drives… particularly out to the 3pt line… i’ll credit thibs on this since it looks like he got randle on this pattern also… but dishing more and turning the ball over less is also key to rj’s upside as a secondary playmaker… usually progress here comes later in a career so this progress this early does elevate his…

  163. % of FG assisted: .400

    This is one of the more encouraging spots and it speaks to both better team wide ball movement (mainly randle) and rj moving without the ball….. last year he was at 35% and a 5% jump might not look like much but 35% is generally where pg’s sit…. and that’s too much for rj…. 40% is sort of within normal and he probably should be a little higher around 45% but this is great progress…..

    FT%: .783

    This is the most encouraging sign and this is a huge improvement over the .614 he shot last year…. this doesn’t mean he’s destined to shoot better from 3 or elsewhere.,… but it does mean that he should be capable of it…. sometimes it’s immediate like with brandon ingram last year where he went from 65% to 81% and coincided with a huge breakout in shooting… or it could take awhile like with jason kidd…. or it may never come like with westbrook…. he might not be an 80% shooter but 70% is still a massive improvement and if he’s shooting 80% i think you should be pretty optimistic about RJ’s shooting coming around eventually…

    Taken altogether… it’s mixed…. if you want to be pessimistic you can point to a 2p% fg and also his ftr for that matter and say that he hasn’t made any progress…. if you want to be optimistic you can point to a lot of the secondary stuff and see that there is progress that just needs more time to marinate….

    I would be optimistic though…. I counted about 10 bad shots in these first 5 games and if he just takes half as many his 2p fg% is all of a sudden over 48% and we’re talking true breakout territory….. that’s really the only thing holding him back…. you only have to look at julius randle who’s doing exactly that this year and in the middle of a true breakout….

    RJ is on the cusp of that and really just needs more time… might come this year.. maybe next year but i think it’s only a matter of time….

  164. JK47:
    And what’s with these modern day mollycoddles and their “fielding gloves?” Are there no more real men like the great Al Spalding left? Don’t even get me started with these new fangled balls that curve.

    Somebody fetch me a sasparilla.

    Mollycoddles???

    Somewhere Dana Carvey is smiling.
    :-)

  165. Somebody tweeted at Bobby Portis that he should have played this well for the Knicks last season. He replied, “Too many power forwards.”

  166. FT%: .783

    This is the most encouraging sign

    23 attempts

    prepare for regression (that goes for virtually every player atop the current leaderboard, like Paul George, who is 24-26 against a career average of 84%)

  167. Alan:
    Somebody tweeted at Bobby Portis that he should have played this well for the Knicks last season. He replied, “Too many power forwards.”

    He forgot to add “better than myself”. ;)
    I don’t want him back, it was the right call to let him go. Randle has flaws but he’s much better than Portis.

  168. Alan:
    Somebody tweeted at Bobby Portis that he should have played this well for the Knicks last season. He replied, “Too many power forwards.”

    I watched four Bucks’ games until now, he looks like the same player to me,
    very good offense when he’s on (he’s shooting better but, as Jowles teaches us, he’s going to reverse to the mean) and he’s always a matador on defense.
    The difference is in the shooting percentages, but he’s playing with a far better team so I expect the quality of his shots to be better by default.

    Let’s not forget that last year he was the catalyst in our first win of the season (28 pts vs CHI in the 4th game) and he had a 30 pts game later, he’s always been good at scoring.

    But he’s damn right on the “too many power forwards” quote and that’s hilarious :-)

    P.S. Agree 100% with Cyber and Alan

  169. Bobby is ballin’ so far but happy he is gone as well. Quite unbelievably he has a higher WS/40 than Randle right now (caveat caveat caveat box score stat).

  170. prepare for regression (that goes for virtually every player atop the current leaderboard, like Paul George, who is 24-26 against a career average of 84%)

    we actually have more of a sample if you count preseason also… and free throws are competition agnostic…. he’s shooting 81% if you count those and that’s almost a full month’s worth of games…. he didn’t shoot 81% in any month last season…

    yes paul george is a career 85% ft shooter but he shot 87.6% last year and did have a whole year where he shot 89.8%… that’s all well within his capabilities…. do you think he’s going to shoot under 80% or something?

    free throws can be volatile…. we saw that with RJ himself last year… but i’m pretty sure we’re looking at definite improvement….

  171. I could see RJ settling in around 75% from the FT line. 3pPT shooting is a whole different thing…he’s not just missing, but throwing up UFOs at an alarming rate. Either it’s a hand-eye thing or a mechanical thing, but he’s really out of whack out there, like Elfrid Payton-esque.

  172. On an article by The Athletic about players that can get an extension during the season.

    The 2021-22 options
    As detailed previously, the group of players with final-season options next year can become extension-eligible during this season if the side holding the option (player or team) declines it ahead of time, typically in conjunction with an extension. That means Jrue Holiday, Will Barton, Justise Winslow, Mitchell Robinson, Josh Richardson and others can negotiate with their teams on the premise that any extension would begin with the 2021-22 season.

    I think we should do it sooner than later, maybe right now he signs for a friendly deal, and if he continues to develop he’ll get more at the end of the season. Is there any doubt that he’ll be a very useful player? And very tradable also, by the way.

  173. cybersoze: I think we should do it sooner than later, maybe right now he signs for a friendly deal, and if he continues to develop he’ll get more at the end of the season. Is there any doubt that he’ll be a very useful player? And very tradable also, by the way.

    I think that anywhere in the $10-12mill AAV range, Mitch is tradable. above that, it would require significant improvement. I’d offer him 4/$40 mill and go up to $48mill with a player option in year 4.

  174. I want to believe in RJ. There are things to like about his game. But sheesh man.

    I’m gonna be an RJ skeptic from now on until he proves that he can at least occasionally throw the ball into the basket.

  175. djphan: I would be optimistic though…. I counted about 10 bad shots in these first 5 games and if he just takes half as many his 2p fg% is all of a sudden over 48% and we’re talking true breakout territory….. that’s really the only thing holding him back…. you only have to look at julius randle who’s doing exactly that this year and in the middle of a true breakout….

    And if you throw out the first half against Indiana (5-5 from 2, 3-3 from 3) his 2p fg% is all of a sudden 38% and his TS% 35 and we’re talking about RJ headed to China when his rookie deal is done. He’s been atrocious and he’s shown nothing that portends anything other than maybe being a solid starter and he’s got a very long way to go to get even there.

  176. Z-man: I think that anywhere in the $10-12mill AAV range, Mitch is tradable. above that, it would require significant improvement. I’d offer him 4/$40 mill and go up to $48mill with a player option in year 4.

    I’m with you, i think 4/$40M is good for both parties.

  177. cybersoze:
    On an article by The Athletic about players that can get an extension during the season.

    The 2021-22 options
    As detailed previously, the group of players with final-season options next year can become extension-eligible during this season if the side holding the option (player or team) declines it ahead of time, typically in conjunction with an extension. That means Jrue Holiday, Will Barton, Justise Winslow, Mitchell Robinson, Josh Richardson and others can negotiate with their teams on the premise that any extension would begin with the 2021-22 season.

    I think we should do it sooner than later, maybe right now he signs for a friendly deal, and if he continues to develop he’ll get more at the end of the season. Is there any doubt that he’ll be a very useful player? And very tradable also, by the way.

    He’s still under contract with us next year (it’s a team option) so I’ll wait another 20-30 games to start talking about an extension.

    He’s not setting the world on fire as a starter (he’s shooting close to 20% lower than last year with the same shot chart, basically all in the 5 feet range) and right now he doesn’t look HOF bound despite what we said here, he clearly lost the battles with Sabonis, Embiid and Drummond and didn’t wreak havoc in the other games.

    The potential is here, I’m happy with his progress on defense and the improved foul control, but I’d really like to see him hit a couple of shots from the elbow or the baseline, let alone from three, don’t you?

    About the extension, I’m totally okay with Z-Man estimate, bordering on the low end.

    Also, do I remember correctly that he’s at his sixth or seventh agent in three years?

  178. Portis is a decent stretch PF that would be a good fit on the Knicks if we didn’t draft Obi hoping he can eventually win that job. It was last year’s salary that was the problem. At this year’s 3.6m salary he’s probably a bargain. There’s nothing wrong with him coming off the bench at that price when he’s only 25 and could easily still improve. That was a good move for the Bucks.

  179. Deeefense:
    Portis is a decent stretch PF that would be a good fit on the Knicks if we didn’t draft Obi hoping he can eventually win that job. It was last year’s salary that was the problem.At this year’s 3.6m salary he’s probably a bargain.
    There’s nothing wrong with him comingoff the bench at that price when he’s only 25 and could easily still improve. That was a good move for the Bucks.

    Agree, at that price he’s a good piece to have. From his game with the Knicks he looks pretty pissed with our FO about losing all those millions. :-)

  180. of course if you take out 33% of his makes he’s a severely worse player… that’s true of anyone at this point… even lebron or durant…. the point is that we’ve seen what progress looks like for players who take out some of the bad shots they were taking…. we do have evidence of that.. and he’s playing in the same lineup as rj…

    and yea rj is pretty garbage now…. and yes improvement is never a guarantee but there’s enough evidence here to believe that his shooting comes around… maybe this year… maybe next year but it’s reasonable to think it’s coming…

    or it couldn’t… but i think if you’re betting that rj is going to be in china then there’s really not much evidence for that…. unless you think he doesn’t improve at all and he is who he is at this point…. and that’s a pretty impatient take….

  181. We know there’s an issue with RJ’s shooting from 3, but the level of panic here is silly. It’s a combination of him not being very good from out there and a random bad run. He’ll turn it around. We just don’t know if he’s still just around a 30% shooter or has made any progress at all. Doncic is shooting less than 16% so far this year but no one is worried about him because they know part of it is just random. RJ showed us last year what he could do.

  182. Deeefense:
    Portis is a decent stretch PF that would be a good fit on the Knicks if we didn’t draft Obi hoping he can eventually win that job. It was last year’s salary that was the problem.At this year’s 3.6m salary he’s probably a bargain. There’s nothing wrong with him comingoff the bench at that price when he’s only 25 and could easily still improve. That was a good move for the Bucks.

    Strat, with the username you currently have, you’re the last person i thought would like Portis. :P

  183. cybersoze: Strat, with the username you currently have, you’re the last person i thought would like Portis. :P

    Obi is our stretch PF now and we are paying him more. :-)

  184. Deeefense:
    We know there’s an issue with RJ’s shooting from 3, but the level of panic here is silly.It’s a combination of him not being very good from out there and a random bad run.He’ll turn it around. We just don’t know if he’s still just around a 30% shooter or has made any progress at all.Doncic is shooting less than 16% so far this year and no one is worried about him because they know part of it is just random.

    Maybe if RJ’s coming off a 28,8/9,4/8,8 season (or 21,2/7,8/6 as in Luka’s rookie season) we’ll be all less worried.

    In a slump like this, if instead of Barrett there was Hardway Jr. on the back of the jersey we’ll be calling for pitchforks and torches.

    (Luka’s always been a subpar 3PT shooter, mainly because he frequently takes absurdly difficult shots)

    Having said that, I hope RJ goes full berserker tonight, we need him to become a star and givin’ his other qualities when his shot fall he could look the part.

  185. djphan: of course if you take out 33% of his makes he’s a severely worse player… that’s true of anyone at this point… even lebron or durant…. the point is that we’ve seen what progress looks like for players who take out some of the bad shots they were taking…. we do have evidence of that.. and he’s playing in the same lineup as rj…

    and yea rj is pretty garbage now…. and yes improvement is never a guarantee but there’s enough evidence here to believe that his shooting comes around… maybe this year… maybe next year but it’s reasonable to think it’s coming…

    or it couldn’t… but i think if you’re betting that rj is going to be in china then there’s really not much evidence for that…. unless you think he doesn’t improve at all and he is who he is at this point…. and that’s a pretty impatient take….

    If you can throw out half of his bad shots I can throw out one half out off ten! I do still see the potential to be a solid starter but not much more than that barring a huge, and I mean huge improvement in shooting. And while the free throw shooting is encouraging it’s not like hitting free throws guarantees anything- DeRozen’s been 80%+ pretty much his entire career. I still think it’s more likely he’s a bust than a genuine #2 guy on a good team but more likely decent than a bust overall. Hope I’m wrong though- that first half against Indiana was a joy to watch!

  186. Max: Also, do I remember correctly that he’s at his sixth or seventh agent in three years?

    Exactly because of this. He probably feels underpaid, and in fact he clearly is – Quickley is a rookie and makes more than him. We got a huge bargain, so i think it would be of good will to extend him sooner than later (because there’s no doubt we will do it).
    And i like the kid, he’s a little bit immature, but he’s a great kid that he’s always smiling and having fun with the rest of the team. At the beginning of the season there was a little controversy that he would demand a trade, next day he comes to training camp with a t-shirt NEW YORK FOREVER. He’s definitely a keeper.

  187. Deeefense: Obi is our stretch PF now and we are paying him more. :-)

    Obi has more potential, if he gets there it’s another story. But my take was just a (probably failed) funny take on the very good defense Portis shows every time he steps onto the court.

  188. For me personally, RJ is the most difficult to peg player we’ve had. There are undoubtedly things to like about his game. The rebounding and assist numbers would be really good from the wing.

    But to put it simply, you really have to be able to put the ball in the basket worth a damn these days. It’s the same reason I’m skeptical of Ntilikina’s ability to stick in the NBA even if his 3PT% ticks up a bit–you don’t see many low-efficiency rotation players on good teams outside of extraordinary cases like Westbrook.

    Barrett will stick in the NBA because his diverse skillset will be attractive to at least a few teams at any given time, but as of right this second I’m feeling skeptical of his ability to be a prominent player on a good team. Wouldn’t be a Knickerblogger post if I didn’t say I’d love to be wrong!

  189. RIP Paul Westphal, really good player in his day, had a short run with the Knicks during the Bernard King era.

  190. Z-man:
    RIP Paul Westphal, really good player in his day, had a short run with the Knicks during the Bernard King era.

    RIP
    Top ten player for four years in the late ‘70s, career as a player derailed by injuries and “other things”. Alas he come to us washed up and not during his peak, but once a Knick…

  191. I mostly remember him for his Suns coaching. He seemed like an interesting guy. I still remember how out of nowhere his Kings gig was.

  192. Z-man:
    RIP Paul Westphal, really good player in his day, had a short run with the Knicks during the Bernard King era.

    Didn’t knew that. I remember him from his coaching days with the Suns, that time in the first round of the playoffs they went 0-2 at home against the Lakers (best of 5 series), and he said they were going to win the remaining 3 games, win the series and people would be saying how good a series it was. And then it really happened. That’s one for the ages.

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